Goldberg is unquestionably one of the biggest names in wrestling, but things may not have been quite as golden for him had he kept his original moniker.
It’s often said that a name can be make or break for pro wrestlers. Shawn Michaels, for example, is a far better name than Michael Hickenbottom. This was the case for Goldberg; though he was born William Scott Goldberg, his surname alone sufficed as his wrestling name.
Speaking to Chris Jericho on the latest Talk Is Jericho podcast, Goldberg pulled back the curtain on his original ring name:
“I wanted to be The Hybrid [they called me] Bill Gold, G O L D, so it’s pretty entertaining. At the tapings down in Orlando, I remember, before going out my first time against I think it was Manny Fernandez, which I do have on video, by the way. I went out, I was getting ready to go out of Gorilla at the time. And they said, ‘What do you want us to call you?’, and I’m like, ‘Call me The Hybrid.’
And they’re like, ‘We can’t do that. Because if you ever sell merchandise, you know, there might be a trademark issue.’ And I’m like, ‘You know what? I don’t foresee myself ever selling anything. So just call me The Hybrid.’ So they called me Bill Gold, that was pretty entertaining.”
Debuting as Bill Goldberg on WCW Monday Nitro’s 22 September 1997 broadcast, he began his undefeated streak as he defeated the disgraced Hugh Morrus. This continued until the 1998 Starrcade pay-per-view, where a loss to Kevin Nash ended his 156-0 streak.
He’s one of a few wrestlers to stick to one name, the ‘Bill’ prefix coming and going. Records show him wrestling just once as Bill Gold, coming via dark match victory over Hugh Morrus in July 1997.
The WWE Hall of Famer hasn’t wrestled since February, failing to dethrone Roman Reigns of the Universal Championship at the Elimination Chamber. He’ll soon celebrate the 25th anniversary of his televised WCW debut, which could tie in with a WWE SmackDown broadcast.
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